Jewish Museum of Belgium shooting

On 24 May 2014, a gunman opened fire at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in Brussels , Belgium , killing four people. Three died at the scene; A fourth was taken to the hospital and died on June 6th.

On May 30, 2014, Mehdi Nemmouche, a 29-year-old French national of Algerian origin, was arrested at Marseille in connection with the shooting. It is believed to be over a year in Syria and had links with radical Islamists.

Shooting

A man wearing a cap, carrying several bags and armed with a Kalashnikov rifle arrived at the Jewish Museum of Belgium , near the Sablon in central Brussels, at around half past three. [1] [2] He then opened fire, killing three people on site and critically wounding a fourth, who was soon taken to hospital [3] and who died of his injuries on 6 June. [4] The attack lasted less than 90 seconds, [5] after which the shooter fled the scene on foot [1] [6] and was partially captured by security cameras. [7]According to police, he headed into a different part of downtown Brussels before disappearing. [6] According to security camera footage, the attacker appeared to wear a baseball-type cap covering-up his head, and a chest-mounted camera, like Mohammed Merah , who filmed his acts during the 2012 Toulouse and Montauban shootings , [8] ] it was stated that the camera failed during filming. [6] [9]

The Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Didier Reynders , has arrived in the vicinity of the museum and heard the gunshots. The Minister of the Interior, Joëlle Milquet , was a few minutes later. [10]

Victims

Deaths by nationality
Country Number
 Israel 2
 belgium 1
 la France 1
Total 4

Four people were killed in the shooting. Two of the victims were Israelis, Emanuel and Miriam Riva, a middle-aged couple on holiday in Tel Aviv , while a French woman named Dominique Sabrier was the third victim.

A young Belgian man who worked at the museum, Alexander Strens, was critically wounded [10] and eventually died of his wounds on June 6. He was born in Morocco to a Jewish mother and Algerian Berber father, and his body was returned to Taza, Morocco , for burial in a Muslim cemetery. [11] [12] [13]

Investigation

A nationwide manhunt was launched for the attacker, who was described as being of medium height and athletic build, and wearing a dark baseball cap. His image, partly obscured, was captured on CCTV . A man who was seen driving from the museum was detained, but released after questioning, and remains a witness in the investigation. [14] Deputy Prosecutor Ine Van Wymersch said the shooter “probably acted alone, was armed and well prepared.” She stated that the motive for the attack was still “open”. [15] The attack was being investigated as a terrorist incident. [16]

Suspect

Mehdi Nemmouche
Born Mehdi Nemmouche 17 April 1985 (age 32) Roubaix ,France
Nationality French , Algerian
Criminal charge Robbery (2007)
Murder (2014)
Criminal penalty 5 years imprisonment (2007)
Criminal status Awaiting trial
Motive Antisemitism , Islamism
Conviction (s) Robbery (2007)
Date apprehended
May 30, 2014

Mehdi Nemmouche ( Arabic : مهدي نموش ; born 17 April 1985), a 29-year-old French citizen, was arrested on May 30 at the Saint-Charles railway station in Marseille in connection with the shooting. Nemmouche is suspected to have returned to France from fighting for Islamist rebels in the Syrian Civil War in 2013. [17] He appears clarification needed ] to have recorded a flag of the rebel group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria . [18]

Nemmouche was born in Roubaix . His father was born in the first half of his life and he was born in his home. Prior to leaving for Syria, he has had a long criminal history, including arrests for armed robbery, vehicle theft, and vandalism. He reportedly told hostages in Syria he was planning an attack in Paris on Bastille Day . [19]

He has been suspected to be radicalized . [20] He left for Syria only three weeks being white after-released from jail in September 2012. [21] If proven guilty, he will be the first European volunteer in the Syrian war Who committed attacks upon returning to Europe. [22] A number of items were recovered from a bag while being detained, including a Kalashnikov rifle, a .38 Special revolver , nearly 330 rounds of ammunition for both weapons, gun parts, cameras, clothing, and a gas mask. A hidden file containing a 40-second video was discovered in one of the cameras; in it, Nemmouche ‘s weapons are recorded and a voice, believed to belong to Nemmouche by police, commented on the responsibility of the museum in an audio commentary. [6] [9] He was said to have had a white sheet emblazoned with the name of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant . [23]

Nemmouche, who has French citizenship, resisted extradition to Belgium. [24] He has denied the charges against him. [25] On 29 July 2014, Nemmouche was extradited to Belgium. [26]

Abdelhamid Abaaoud’s analysis of a telephone call made him feel that he was in touch with Nemmouche during January 2014. Abaaoud was the ringleader of a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015. [27]

Reactions

Domestic

Government

Belgium’s Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo condemned the attack. “In Belgium we are not accustomed to such acts of barbarity,” he said. [10] Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders , who arrived at the museum shortly after the shooting, wrote on Twitter : “Shocked by the Murders Committed to the Jewish Museum, My thoughts go to the victims that I saw on the site and their families” . [28] Minister of the Interior, Joëlle Milquet speculated that anti-Semitism might be behind the shootings and Brussels Mayor Yvan Mayeur described them as a terrorist attack. [29] Belgian politician Mischaël Modrikamen , leader ofA small conservative party and a member of Belgium’s Jewish community, said “Sadly, however, the current attack comes as no surprise to us after years of living in an atmosphere of rampant anti-Semitism that often leads to violence.” [30]

Organizations

Joel Rubinfeld of the Belgian League Against Antisemitism described the act as “the inevitable result of a climate that distills hatred … it will be necessary to use it to prevent the spread of this virus. -Jewish hatred “, specifically mentioning the anti-Zionist and Holocaust-denying representative, Lawrence Louis , and controversial Black French comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala . [31] [32] [33] Louis denied Rubinfeld’s accusations, suggesting that the attack could have been false, and his political party, Standing Belgians!(Rise Up, Belgians), on the eve of the Belgian federal elections . [34] The League of Muslims in Belgium condemned the attack as “barbaric”. In a statement the league said, “These crimes with racist and anti-semitic are all the problems of the world. philosophical beliefs, can live in dignity and respect. ” [35]

International

Countries

French President Francois Hollande condemned the “horrifying killings with the greatest force.” In a statement, he expressed France’s solidarity with neighboring Belgium and condolences to the families of victims. [36] Pope Francis , who was visiting the Middle East at the time of the attacks, said he was deeply saddened by the killings in “this criminal act of anti-semitic hatred”. [37] “My thoughts go out to those who lost their lives in the Brussels attack,” he said. “I entrust the victims to God.” [38] Israeli President Shimon Peres also called upon European leaders to act against “any form of anti-Semitism” which he said was “[39] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign MinisterLieberman’s Avigdor blamed anti-Israel incitement , especially in Europe, for the shooting, stating, “There are elements in Europe that rush to condemn the construction of a flat in Jerusalem but who do not rush to condemn, or offer only a weak condemnation of the murder of Jews in Europe itself. ” [39] He praised Elio Di Rupo , who telephoned to express condolences and update the Israeli leader on the investigation. [39] Lieberman further stated that the attack was the result of European antisemitism and incitement against the Jewish State. [40]

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano recalled “the need to keep in guard and be ready to wear out every regurgitation of antisemitism” and declared “I am always close to the world of Jewish communities yet again harshly hit”. Ministry of Interior Angelino Alfano said “Dead and injured from the Brussels’ are also our dead and injured” and stressed that “there are no motives in the world that can allow all of this”. [41] Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte , conveyed his condolences to the prime ministers of Belgium and Israel. The Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Frans Timmermans, expressed his solidarity to his Belgian colleague. He said that he was shocked by the cowardly attack. [42] Carl Bildt , Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs , wrote on Twitter : “Despicable attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels.An affront against the values ​​of our modern Europe represents.” [43] Birgitta Ohlsson , Minister for EU Affairs , also wrote on Twitter: “I’m shocked about the anti-Semitic attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels just one day before the elections to the European Parliament.” [44] Ministry of Foreign Affairsissued condolences to the victims’ families. In written statement, “Turkey hopes the attack is not related to” racist or anti-Semitic “motives.” Or else we will be concerned about the result of the EU Parliament elections , which was very disappointing. ” [45]

Organizations

Roger Cukierman , head of the French Jewish Association ( CRIF ), called for more resources to be given to the French foreign intelligence service, the DGSE , to track activists returning to France from Syria. [23] The European Jewish Association’s General Director, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, thanked the European leaders who condemned the attack for their remarks, but stressed that, “condemnation after a predictable attack is nothing but one way to cleanse one’s conscience … There is a need to establish a pan-European taskforce in order to annihilate anti-Semitism. ” [39]He later added that, “Such an attack is to be expected in light of rising anti-Semitism in Europe.The governments of Europe have to take steps, words are not enough.” [46] A spokesperson for United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said in a statement that the Secretary General “reiterates his strong condemnation of all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance and trusts. the perpetrator or perpetrators of this crime to justice swiftly. ” [47] World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. LauderTwo years after Toulouse, and one of the European elections, this despicable attack is yet another terrible reminder of the kind of threats Europe’s Jews are currently facing. ” [48]

See also

  • 1981 Antwerp bombing
  • 2009 United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Shooting
  • 2011 Liège attack
  • 2015 Thalys train attack
  • 2016 Brussels bombings
  • 2015 New Year’s attackers (foiled attack on Brussels)
  • History of Brussels
  • History of the Jews in Belgium
  • Toulouse and Montauban shoots
  • Terrorism in the European Union

References

  1. ^ Jump up to:b Caserta, Raf (25 May 2014). “Belgium ramps up security for the suspect lone in Jewish Museum attack” . The Globe and the Mail . Retrieved 26 May 2014 . dead link ]
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  4. Jump up^ “Vierde slachtoffer aanslag Joods museum overleden” . From Morgen . 6 June 2014 . Retrieved 6 June 2014 .
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